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Killswitch by Joel Shepherd - a review

With Killswitch Joel Shepherd continues the story of Cassandra (Sandy) Kresnov as she defends her adopted home world of Callay. As one of the few artificial humans in the public eye she holds a precarious position. Some see her as a strong force for protecting her fellow citizens. Others see her as an unstable threat. And yet others want to use her as a political pawn in the changing climate of the Federation.

Killswitch picks up two years after President Neiland reveals her intention to make the Callayan capital of Tanusha the center of the Federation (in the previous novel, Crossover). A conservative faction of the Federation's fleet has surround Callay and is threatening a blockade-- at the very least. President Neiland turns to the newly formed Callayan Defense Force (CDF), a group trained and led by Major Vanessa Rice and Commander Kresnov. Before they can make much headway against the fleet, Sandy's lover uncovers a plan to execute her by the use of a killswitch. Her makers in the League built a device in her brain stem capable of killing her through her neural uplinks.

What sets this third volume apart is the introduction of a true threat to Sandy. In both Crossover and Breakaway the danger to Sandy was mostly ideological and political. In Killswitch Shepherd introduces Jane, another high designation GI, one frightening similar to Sandy. And one who is out to destroy her. In Jane, Sandy sees what other fear about her-- she is a cold almost emotionless killing machine. Killswitch keeps a good balance of action and politics and the relationship between Sandy and Vanessa continues to grow-- and become more complicated.

My Recommendation
With the latest installment in the Cassandra Kresnov story, Joel Shepherd creates a strong mix of political science fiction and action. Killswitch is a wonderful addition in the progression of Canssandra Kresnov's humaity. I highly recommend the entire Kresnov series.

Killswitch by Joel Shepherd
Published by Tor
405 pages

Also in the Cassandra Kresnov series:
Breakaway
Crossover

Killswitch by Joel Shepherd is available at Amazon.com

Pyr Publishing provided me with a free review copy of Killswitch

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